War of words erupts after complaints over chippy van

Co-owners of the van Tim Chapple, left, and Matt Barlow

Co-owners of the van Tim Chapple, left, and Matt Barlow

First published in Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter. Call me on (01865) 425373

A BOUTIQUE and gallery are among city businesses that have complained about a “smelly” fish and chip van in a move that could see it stripped of its right to trade.

Five complaints have sparked an Oxford City Council review of Goujon Monkey’s street trading consent over noise and smells.

But one of the van’s owners said it adds to a “vibrant and cosmopolitan city”.

Aidan Meller, of Aidan Meller Galleries, which the outlet is parked in front of, told the council: “I am a specialist gallery, and every piece of art work I have is rare and of high value.

“They are works on sensitive materials, and I am extremely concerned that the smell might be absorbed and damage any works we have that are exposed.”

He said: “Outside our front door is a generator going, a radio going and frying smells wafting in.

“It seems odd to me that you can have the beautiful Broad Street with its heritage and high class shops and then have a fast food restaurant outside.”

Simon Godfrey, owner of Italian boutique Isola, said the smell was making staff feel ill. He said: “The smell is impregnating all the clothes and lots of stock will not be saleable with such a smell.”

The Varsity Shop, which sells Oxford University products, said the odour gets into clothes and the council, which owns its building, should intervene.

“We pay some of the highest rates in the country and yet our landlord continues to not act when asked to intervene.”

Oxford Visitor Information Centre said: “I’m sure you wouldn’t enjoy trying to work with someone running a generator right outside your window all day.”

Another unidentified business said: “We don’t want our merchandise smelling of fish.”

Tim Chapple, who owns Goujon Monkey with Matt Barlow, said they spent “a lot of time and effort and money” to reduce its impact.

He said: “We have the lowest noise generator on the market, it’s only at the level of a conversation.

“And we have done all we can to reduce any odour – we change the oil much more frequently than we are required to and we only use fresh produce.

“When you’re cooking food there is obviously going to be a smell, but we don’t think it is a strong smell.

“Oxford is a really vibrant and cosmopolitan city and I think it needs things like this, our food is high quality and all cooked to order.”

The council report said its officers made 10 visits from June 4 to 18 and “no odour nuisance or noise nuisance was observed”.

Members of the licensing and registration sub-committee will be asked to make a decision on Wednesday at Oxford Town Hall from 5.30pm.

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Comments (7)

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7:35am Mon 11 Aug 14

HomerSimpsonDoh says...

However a van selling Caviar, smoked trout and lobster is quite welcome in Snob street.
However a van selling Caviar, smoked trout and lobster is quite welcome in Snob street. HomerSimpsonDoh
  • Score: 25

1:13pm Mon 11 Aug 14

mytaxes says...

“It seems odd to me that you can have the beautiful Broad Street with its heritage and high class shops and then have a fast food restaurant outside.”

That quote says it all really, the Hoi polloi , are not welcome in such a beautiful street.
“It seems odd to me that you can have the beautiful Broad Street with its heritage and high class shops and then have a fast food restaurant outside.” That quote says it all really, the Hoi polloi , are not welcome in such a beautiful street. mytaxes
  • Score: 5

7:29pm Mon 11 Aug 14

Interestedinoxford says...

Hope the generator is earthed into the ground for safety .
Hope the generator is earthed into the ground for safety . Interestedinoxford
  • Score: 0

9:50pm Mon 11 Aug 14

tinsel84 says...

I wonder who complained? People on diets being tortured by the smell of lovely fish and chips?
I wonder who complained? People on diets being tortured by the smell of lovely fish and chips? tinsel84
  • Score: 9

9:51pm Mon 11 Aug 14

tinsel84 says...

mytaxes wrote:
“It seems odd to me that you can have the beautiful Broad Street with its heritage and high class shops and then have a fast food restaurant outside.”

That quote says it all really, the Hoi polloi , are not welcome in such a beautiful street.
Fish and chips are part of our heritage too!
[quote][p][bold]mytaxes[/bold] wrote: “It seems odd to me that you can have the beautiful Broad Street with its heritage and high class shops and then have a fast food restaurant outside.” That quote says it all really, the Hoi polloi , are not welcome in such a beautiful street.[/p][/quote]Fish and chips are part of our heritage too! tinsel84
  • Score: 13

8:06pm Tue 12 Aug 14

Skatesolio says...

We've eaten there several times, its not fast food, its cooked to order, fresh, i wonder if all the shops in the covered market complain about smells?.. Not a bad word to say about Goujon Monkey. You could put any food van there and they would complain!
We've eaten there several times, its not fast food, its cooked to order, fresh, i wonder if all the shops in the covered market complain about smells?.. Not a bad word to say about Goujon Monkey. You could put any food van there and they would complain! Skatesolio
  • Score: 13

9:48pm Tue 12 Aug 14

Oxford92 says...

5 complaints and they review it? The amount of good things I've heard, the van gets more customers than the shops! 10/10.
5 complaints and they review it? The amount of good things I've heard, the van gets more customers than the shops! 10/10. Oxford92
  • Score: 6

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